Real Madrid Ready to Chase a ‘Number Nine’ in January to Boost Attacking Options

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is reportedly ready to welcome a new striker to the Bernabeu as he looks to add depth to the squad and competition for the famed BBC front-line, particularly fellow countryman and known favourite Karim Benzema.

According to Marca, Real are seeking a player who primarily ‘adds presence and threat in the box’.

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Both the Spanish publication and L’Equipe in France have named Mauro Icardi, a player long linked with Real already, as being on the radar for Zidane and the Madrid hierarchy.

The Inter Milan captain has scored 17 times in 19 Serie A games so far this season and would certainly be the obvious choice when it comes to filling the ‘number nine’ long term.

The problem, Marca highlights, is that Icardi is tied down to a lengthy contract in Milan – due to run until 2021 – and the Nerazzurri are trying to extend it longer still. The potential price quoted is €100m, which would put the Argentine among the most five most expensive players ever.

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Tottenham talisman Harry Kane, scorer of a world leading 56 goals in 2017, is another target. He would also come with an enormous price tag and there are doubts over how he might adapt to Spanish football, famously so different to England.

RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner is also an option. Marca points out the problems he has had with his ears – the German complained of dizziness during a particularly loud Champions League encounter against Besiktas earlier this season.

Alexis Sanchez, available as a free agent at the end of the season, or for likely less than €40m this month, completes the possible targets. It may be that the former Barcelona star is more attainable if only because current club Arsenal would probably rather sell to Real than help strengthen domestic rivals Manchester City.

Despite his potential problems, Marca names Werner as the most likely to join Real in January.

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Spanish Report Claims Arsenal Desperate to Sign Real Madrid Ace as They Plan for Life After Sanchez

​Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Real Madrid forward Lucas Vazquez, as they begin to prepare for life after Alexis Sanchez.

Arsene Wenger is looking for a replacement for Sanchez and the Gunners boss feels that Vazquez could be an ideal replacement for the Chilean.

The Real Madrid forward has made 13 appearances in La Liga and has found himself frustrated by the lack of game time with Los Blancos.

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Spanish outlet ​Don Balon have reported that Wenger has stepped up his interest in the Spaniard and Vazquez could be tempted by a move to the Emirates. Wenger admires Vazquez’s speed and agility and is reportedly “willing to do anything” to bring the 26-year-old to the Gunners.

Arsenal star man ​Alexis Sanchez is expected to join Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this year, as the Chile forward only has six months left on his contract.

Sanchez is the Citizen’s number one target as they made a £60m bid for the Arsenal man in the summer but the Gunners were adamant he wasn’t leaving and the deal collapsed.

Wenger has already done his first piece of business by bringing in Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, and will be looking to bring in Vazquez as they attempt to strengthen their squad in a bid to climb into the top-four of the Premier League table.

German midfielder Mesut Ozil is another player who looks set to depart the Gunners as his contract is also up in the summer.

It will come as some relief to Arsenal fans that Vazquez is open to a move to the Premier League, as they begin to look for replacements for their key players.

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The Gunners turn their attention to an away trip to Championship side Nottingham Forest on Sunday in the FA Cup. 

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Real Madrid Confirm Captain Sergio Ramos Has Been Sidelined With Calf Injury

Real Madrid have confirmed that club captain Sergio Ramos has been ruled out of action with a calf injury, explaining that his situation will ‘continue to be assessed’ rather than offering a definitive timeframe for his expected recovery.

Ramos was forced to miss three games in La Liga, the Champions League and Copa del Rey in November as a result of a gruesome broken nose and was more recently missing for the 5-0 win over Sevilla due to a red card he was shown against Athletic Bilbao the previous week.

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It could be that Ramos’s absence presents Jesus Vallejo, who celebrates his 21st birthday today, an opportunity to start a few more games.

The young centre-back deputised for Ramos in the aforementioned game against Sevilla, while also being named in the line-ups for La Liga games against Malaga and Las Palmas in November, his only other La Liga appearances of the season so far.

Real are due to face Celta Vigo when La Liga resumes this weekend following the winter break, with further games against Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia before the end of the month.

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Los Blancos fans and staff will be praying that Ramos is fit enough to return for the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie against a rampant Paris Saint-Germain on February 14.

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Real Madrid Starlet Tells Club He Wants Liverpool Transfer in January

Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has told the ​La Liga giants that he wants to join Liverpool in January.

According to a report by Spanish outlet ​Diario Gol, Ceballos is seeking more first-team action after being stuck down the pecking order behind the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro at the Santiago Bernabeu, since his summer arrival from Real Betis.

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The 21-year-old, who only joined ​Real Madrid six months ago, is reportedly already looking for a way out after making just ten appearances in all competitions this season.

With the World Cup in Russia only five months away, Ceballos wants regular game time to boost his chances of making the Spanish squad. In order to do that, Ceballos has reportedly told Madrid president Florentino Perez that he wishes to leave the club and join ​Liverpool.

It was ​reported earlier in December that ​AC Milan were looking to snap up the youngster, but Liverpool is now apparently his preferred destination.

Liverpool are likely to have a browse in the transfer market this month if Philippe Coutinho’s move to ​Barcelona goes through.

Furthermore, if Emre Can secures his rumoured move to ​Juventus at the end of the season, Ceballos could be a welcome addition to bolster their midfield in the long-term.

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Spurs Set to Offer Harry Kane Huge New Contract to Keep Superstar Happy Amid Real Madrid Interest

Tottenham are reportedly set to offer Harry Kane a mega-money deal which will see him become the highest paid English player in the Premier League.

According to the​ Daily Mail, Spurs will smash their wage ceiling to offer the 24-year-old a new deal worth £200,000 a week.

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Should the agreement be made, it would make Harry Kane the highest paid English player in the Premier League, overtaking Raheem Sterling of Manchester City.

The Mail’s report goes on to say that the deal would also make Kane the joint sixth highest earner in the league overall, moving him up alongside Kevin De Bruyne, David De Gea and Eden Hazard.

The striker, who is currently on a deal worth £110,000 a week, has proven that his record-breaking 2017 has put him on the radar of many of Europe’s top clubs.

However, writing for the same paper, former Arsenal defender and TV pundit Martin Keown says that Kane can commit his long-term future to Spurs only if he’s in the top wages bracket and there’s silverware in the cabinet.

“Tottenham and Kane have to strike a happy medium when it comes to his contract,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“While Kane cannot become the Premier League’s best-paid player at Spurs, the club can still show him they are looking after him financially as much as they can.

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​​“Kane would only leave Tottenham for a Real Madrid or Barcelona but everything is here for him in the Premier League. This league has the best managers and Kane can set records here.”

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The New Casillas? 5 Things Real Madrid Fans Should Know About Wonderkid Kepa Arrizabalaga

Real Madrid look set to sign 23-year-old goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao in January. The young shot stopper’s contract with Bilbao runs out in the summer, which is likely to force a move to Los Blancos in a deal estimated to be worth £20m.

The acquisition of the goalkeeper seemingly suggests that Real Madrid have given up their pursuit of long term target David De Gea from Manchester United. Arrizabalaga will now compete with Keylor Navas and Kiko Casilla for the number one spot in Madrid. 

But just who is this up and coming ‘keeper? Here’s all the things Madrid fans should know about their latest potential recruit. 

5. The Next Great Basque Goalkeeper?

Hailing from the fiercely proud Basque region, Kepa Arrizabagala could follow in the footsteps of Spain’s last great goalkeeper from that area – Luis Arconada. 

Arconada played for nearly 20 years during the 1970s and ’80s both as a Spain international and for Real Sociedad. The goalkeeper won two La Liga titles with his club and 68 caps for Spain where he represented his country at two World Cups and two European Championships. 

Arconada is also an admirer of Arrizabagala himself. Could he achieve the same success for club and country as Arconada?  

4. Already Hit With Injury Problems

While still only 23, Arrizabalaga has already had his fair share of injury problems. Over the past year alone, the young goalkeeper has suffered four bouts of injury which has forced him to miss 18 matches for Athletic Bilbao. 

Right now, Arrizabalaga is recovering from a metatarsal injury which has kept him out for a month. Hopefully, Madrid will have the facilities required to keep the youngster fit and continue to develop him into a top goalkeeper. 

3. He Was Given His Chance By Ernesto Valverde

It was the current manager of Real Madrid’s biggest rivals Barcelona who first saw something in Kepa Arrizabalaga. Ernesto Valverde was the manager at Athletic Bilbao before his move to Catalonia. 

Last season, Valverde promoted the youngster to the first team where he would rotate with Bilbao regular Gorka Iraizoz. From this season, Arrizabalaga impressive performances have firmly cemented him at Bilbao’s first choice in goal. 

2. Admirers From Various Big European Clubs

Real Madrid are not the only club to have been monitoring Arrizabalaga’s performances and situation at Bilbao. Arsenal are reportedly keen to bring in a young goalkeeper to eventually take over from the ageing Petr Cech. 

Los Blancos’ local rivals Atletico Madrid are also keen on the goalkeeper. If Atletico lose their number one shot stopper Jan Oblak in the summer, Arrizabalaga is first choice to replace him. 

However, it is Real Madrid remain in pole position and it is difficult to see any other club complete for Arrizabalaga at this late stage. 

1. Time Is On His Side

Real Madrid would always find it difficult to find another goalkeeper of David De Gea’s quality, after repeatedly missing out on the Spanish shot stopper for years now. But at just 23-years-old, Kepa has the best possible chance of reaching the same sort of levels of his fellow countryman. 

Arrizabalaga has been described as an all-rounder. He has strong reflexes, looks comfortable in the air and with using the ball at his feet. And at 6’2”, he would command a greater physical presence than Madrid’s current first choice Keylor Navas. 

Despite his lack of match experience, time is certainly on Kepa’s side. He has already received a national team call-up, and a move to a big clubs seems to be around the corner. At Madrid, he could flourish to be become a reliable first choice in goal for many years to come. 

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Valencia Confirm Sale of In-Demand Starlet Rafa Mir to Championship Leaders Wolverhampton

Spanish club Valencia have announced the transfer of forward Rafa Mir to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Earlier reports had claimed that the English outfit beat Real Madrid to the signing, with Los Blancos keen on having the 20-year-old join their youth ranks. And Valencia have since confirmed as much.

A statement on the club’s ​official website reads: “​Valencia CF has closed on Wednesday an agreement with the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for the transfer of footballer Rafa Mir. Valencia CF appreciates his career as a Valencian and wishes him the best of luck in his new professional stage.”

Rafa has only made eight senior appearances for Valencia this season, but was sensational for their reserve team, netting 15 goals in 19 appearances.

Wolves boss Nuno Santo has worked with the player previously, during his time at Valencia, and is said to have brought him in to provide competition and cover for Leo Bonatini.


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Valencia did not make mention of a transfer fee in their statement, but it is believed to be around the region of £2m.

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Report Claims Real Madrid Are Prepared to Offer Tottenham 1 of 3 Players in Order to Land Harry Kane

​Real Madrid could offer Tottenham a choice of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric or Mateo Kovacic as a player to be part of a deal to take Harry Kane to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Spanish side have been linked with a move for the Spurs star in recent weeks. It has even been reported recently that Kane has been made the club’s number one transfer target in 2018.

The Tottenham striker has been in sensational form this season, scoring 24 goals in 24 appearances for his club this season. 

The 24-year-old even managed to break Alan Shearer’s record of scoring the most Premier League goals in a calendar year, with 39, while he also managed to out score both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in 2017. 

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According to rumours site ​Diario Gol, the current European champions could be willing to let either Bale, Kovacic or Modric join Tottenham as part of a deal for striker Harry Kane.

Bale previously played for the Premier League side between 2007 and 2013 before moving to Real Madrid. Since his move, he has won three Champions League titles and a league title, but injuries have hampered the 28-year-old’s career over the last year.

Modric was also a Spurs player but the Croatian left in 2012 to join Los Blancos. Since then he has featured 235 times for the club, netting 12 times. 


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Kovacic joined Real Madrid in 2015 and made 73 appearances in his first two seasons. But so far this campaign, he has managed just 10 outings, largely due to an injury he suffered in September which has seen him miss over two months.

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Real Madrid ‘Ready to Sell’ Star Pair in Order to Make Room for Brazilian Attacker

Real Madrid duo Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale could be axed at the Santiago Bernabéu if Florentino Pérez makes a move for the poster boy of Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar.

Kroos or Bale would have to be moved on to free up some space on Madrid’s high wages bill if a deal for Neymar is in place, according to the Express (via Sport), with the Brazilian’s current deal believed to be worth over €36m-a-year.

Although Los Blancos will have no trouble in finding potential suitors for the out of favour pair, most clubs across Europe will struggle to match their price tag and wages. However, Manchester United have previously been linked with both players and are one of just a handful of clubs who have deep enough pockets to complete a deal.

​​(You may also like  RB Leipzig Chief Rules Out Selling Striker Amid Interest From Real Madrid & Liverpool)

Kroos is widely considered to be one of the best midfielders in the world, with the German international forming an outstanding partnership with Luka Modrić that had dominated European football in recent years.

The 27-year-old World Cup winner first moved to the Spanish capital in 2014, leaving Bayern Munich in a deal worth £22m. Kroos has gone on to make 169 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring nine goals and registering 48 assists.


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In comparison, Bale joined Real Madrid for a world record fee back in 2013. The Welshman has failed to consistently produce his best since leaving Tottenham, with talk of the 28-year-old leaving the Bernabéu a common theme during every transfer window.

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Report Claims Wolves Have Sensationally Beaten Real Madrid to Signing of Highly-Rated Valencia Star

​Wolves have pulled off a transfer coup with the news that they have secured the signature of Valencia starlet Rafa Mir, who had looked set to move to Real Madrid.

Reports had earlier claimed that ​Los Blancos had tied up a deal for the highly rated forward, who was set to take a place in the club’s Castilla team, but it appears that the Championship leaders have won the race for the 20-year-old.

According to Spanish website ​SuperDeporte, Mir will join the Molineux side on a four-year contract for a fee of €2m.

Mir has made just eight senior appearances for Valencia, but has been in prolific form for Valencia’s reserves this season, scoring fifteen goals in nineteen appearances in Spain’s third tier.

The swoop for Mir is not the first high profile coup Wolves have pulled since the arrival of Nuno Espirito Santo as manager.

Wolves have already brought in the likes of Diogo Jota on loan from Atletico Madrid and Ruben Neves for £15.8m from Santo’s former club, Porto, during the summer transfer window.


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After four straight seasons in the Championship, Wolves are currently leading the way in English football’s second tier as they look for a return to the Premier League following their relegation in 2012.

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